10 steps to success in ‘Design & Innovation’

Having a good ‘design & innovation’ strategy is of paramount importance for an enterprise’s success. While many strive hard to change the way they engage with their customers to create innovative products & services; very few succeed in achieving that objective. Why is it tough to build products with emotional touch and human connect? Why is it difficult to stay innovative and constantly deliver value to the customers?

The answer lies in the approach we take. There are many radical changes needed in the existing approach which could be too growth oriented, risk-averse, short-term or complacent. Here are the 10 ways we could reorient our strategy for better results.

1. Be prepared to UNLEARN. Old beliefs and adages have oftentimes been proven wrong.

2. Never undermine the power of STORY TELLING. Share & listen to user stories as often as possible.

3. Big is not always better. Don’t chase big ideas. Work on small ones and make them great.

4. Ditch the growth gridlock. Sales numbers are not everything. Don't forget until recent times NOKIA was the undisputed leader in mobile handset market.

5.  Customers want EMPATHY not Sympathy.

6. Don’t just ask the users. Don't interview. Get into conversations. Don’t think of what they need. Instead Immerse into their ‘life’ to understand how you could make their “journey” better.

7. Lock the boardroom. Open the lawn. Boardroom is where people often waste their time. The large oval table only creates ‘distances’. People closely seated around small round tables can be much more collaborative.

8. Remember ‘Handsome is what handsome does’. Looks may be deceptive. What matters more is ‘value’ to the user.

9. Failure is OK! All ideas won’t lead to success. Enrich the good ones. Rapidly prototype and playtest to see which of them work. Take feedback. Fail as early as possible to avert high risk failures.

10. Sometimes it is better to keep the analytical mind aside. Market Research and Customer Analytics could give you insights about the market but not the un-articulated needs of the customers.

The world is full of wicked problems. Problems we know so less about. Big Data Analytics and Cognitive computing systems could off course churn data smartly but could not replace a human centered approach of problem solving.

A more human & empathetic approach will be  valuable in an increasingly chaotic and complex world.

How we could make our design & innovation process more meaningful.

Request your views. @sanjay_abraham

 

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